Our Story

 

"When the young children attending Urban Outreach began to grow up and enter 5th or 6th grade, some quit coming to the Bible lesson after the meal on Sunday night. I desperately wanted to continue to "plant the word of God" in their hearts as Pastor Jeff had done for the first few years. I had heard testimonies about a ranch in Oregon and searched to find something similar in or near Kokomo. It was simply a "motivator" to keep the kids coming to class. But soon I began to share my own testimonies of what was happening with some of the kids. Unsolicited funding began coming in as I shared these testimonies with others. At one point I had to stop and ask, "Lord, is this for more than just this little bunch of kids at Urban Outreach?"  - Susan Zody, Director


Our Mission

 

Narrow Gate Horse Ranch is an inner city missions program forging unlikely relationships, using horses as a conduit, to foster discipleship with youth and families. 


Our Vision

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As was Isaiah’s vision in Is.61:1-4, our vision is to teach Good News to the poor, proclaim freedom for the captives, and release from darkness for those held in captivity.   Our desire is to develop unlikely relationships that translate into discipleship where seeds of hope are planted to break generational bondages which perpetuate a culture of poverty.

As hope is watered with prayer and sprouts into new life, the fruit that ensues becomes a catalyst for change within homes and community producing “oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor.” 


...WITH the local church...

 

The wagon wheel to the left shows how we want to partner with local churches and other great organizations in our community to maximize our community impact together.  We know that God will change more lives as we serve together than apart.


Special Thanks to...

 

Agape Therapeutic Riding Center, Cicero, Indiana
Agape is the incredible organization where we got our start. We are forever indebted to their help & vision of Unbridled Hope through the power of horses.  

Reins of Hope, Atlanta, Indiana
Heather Lawson and Kim Marschand have developed a unique ministry that fosters healthy relationships and healing of life's hurts for kids and families.  They meet with our team sometimes up to twice a week for training as we seek to develop our skills in equine ministry.



What makes us different?

 

Narrow Gate Horse Ranch is an inner city missions program targeting “at-risk” or “under-resourced” youth and adults.

Our mission is to provide counter-cultural experiences in a rural setting utilizing part of creation - horses, the guidance of the created - man, and the instruction of the Word of God to lead others through the mending of hearts and changing of lives, which is possible only in a relationship with the Creator.

Our desire is to extend a hand of care and compassion into the lives of children and adults, who live in a “culture of poverty”. Poverty is not solely determined by a lack of finances, but by being under-resourced in at least three of the following resources: Financial, Emotional, Mental, Spiritual, Physical, Support Systems, or Relationships/Models. Therefore, poverty afflicts persons of all economic strata.

However, poverty is frequently found in the inner city. Often, it brings with it the darkness of abuse, neglect, drugs, gaming overload, social media exploitation, pagan worship (I might suggest - “a lack of Godly influence”), and death.

The “counter-culture” experience Narrow Gate Horse Ranch provides brings light and life with the many sights, sounds, and smells of a rural setting (bathed in prayer), often not experienced by many children. Many studies have confirmed the findings of Heather Lawson, a master’s level therapist trained in equine assisted therapy who states:

“Humans are often incongruent and dishonest in their thinking, feeling, and behaving; thus, hiding or protecting the ‘real self’ from others. Horses, on the other hand, live in the moment and are extremely sensitive to their environments. They reflect and communicate their experiences genuinely and honestly through their behavior. Horses don’t lie and people can’t fool them. They mirror exactly what human body language and behavior tells them; therefore, providing us with incredible metaphors to use in treatment.”

The “horse experience” can also be used by Narrow Gate horse handlers and instructors, who train volunteers from churches, the community, and certified counselors from various community organizations. As involvement expands the reach of “the church” and God’s love extends past a farm and out into the world.

A “working horse ranch” provides opportunities for participants to develop skill sets, discipline, and accountability. Hope is instilled. Self-esteem improves. Gifts are identified and utilized. Relationships with horses become the avenue for developing relationships with others using a variety of proven programs with measurable outcomes

For the participants, change typically translates into a change of attitude, improved grades, work performance, and relationships. Relationships translate into discipleship where seeds can be planted and watered by prayer.

The final outcome is productive members of society, active church involvement for boys and girls, and men and women of faith.